Australian Cartridge Collectors Association, Inc.


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The State and Territory legislative requirements for collecting, buying, selling or trading ammunition are currently being updated. See below for updates.


Updated 2015: New South Wales

Updated 2015: Queensland

Updated 2015: Victoria

Updated 2016: Australian Capital Territory

Not yet updated: South Australia

Updated 2023: Tasmania

Not yet updated: Western Australia

Not yet updated: Northern Territory


Some wise word from Gerard Dutton remain below.

The legislation relating to collecting ammunition varies quite a bit between states/territories, despite Australia apparently having "uniform" national gun laws. Therefore the onus is upon each of us to become conversant with the applicable laws where we live to ensure we do not unwittingly do the wrong thing when we collect, buy, sell or trade. Just like any organisation, if a small minority of members do the wrong thing, whether deliberate or not, it brings disrepute upon all the other members. ACCA is no different in this regard. In fact due to the negative perception of anything firearm related the media continually presents to the general public, we need to be extra vigilant to ensure our collecting interest/hobby/passion is not impinged upon by further unnecessary laws or regulations.

All the State and Territory Firearm Registry websites should have a search facility to help you find the correct legislation, by typing in "Firearms Act" or "ammunition" and so on. You can also pay for a hard copy from the Government Printer as long as you know exactly what you're after. Some jurisdictions issue a separate "Authority to Collect Ammunition" or similar, issued by the Police Commissioner or their delegate and this may or may not have various conditions attached to it. This doesn't replace a shooters licence but is an addition to it (if you own any firearms, as a number of ACCA members do.) The conditions in the Authority often stipulate requirements that are not spelled out in the Firearms Act and/or Regulations. Keep in mind that different conditions may apply to different collectors, depending on individual circumstances. The basic conditions found on these authorities are only a starting point.

As most of us have experienced at some time or another when contacting government departments, not everyone who works in any particular area knows the exact information you are seeking. Also, successive phone calls to the same area but to different employees can sometimes unwittingly result in contradictory information given out which can prove frustrating. Providing the names (where possible) of one or two member/s who are familiar with the relevant laws and the phone numbers of each Firearms Registry should ensure consistent information is given to ACCA members when making enquiries. One suggestion I have if you speak to any government departments regarding any issues with your cartridge collecting, is to make a note of the time, date and the person you spoke with. If down the track a problem arises, it's much easier to resolve it if you can provide this information.

One issue I think is very worthwhile spelling out to members is the fact that holding a shooters licence does not automatically allow you to collect any ammunition you would like. Your shooters licence, regardless of where you live in Australia, only allows you to possess ammunition for the firearms you are registered as owning! Therefore if you are a shooter who only owns a .22LR calibre bolt action rifle and a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, you are only entitled to possess ammunition in .22LR calibre and 12 gauge. In the previous example, if you also possessed a box of cartridges in .22WMR, .30-30 Winchester, 20 gauge or even a single cartridge in something obscure and obsolete like .25-25 Stevens or .38 Extra Long rimfire and so on (the list is endless…), you are committing an offence. The solution is straightforward however – you merely need to check what is required in your own jurisdiction and make application to be able to collect/buy/sell a wider range of ammunition than is allowed by your firearms licence. I only make particular mention of this point as I'm sure some collectors (who own firearms and who have a shooters licence) when they start collecting cartridges overlook this fact. Don't be put off by this requirement, just ensure you arrange the appropriate licence or authority that covers your collecting interests.

Another issue worth mentioning is that if you sell collectors ammunition, by law you should satisfy yourself that the person you are selling to have the appropriate authority to possess that ammunition – ie visually inspect their licence or authority. If you buy ammunition, by law they should ensure that you have the appropriate authority to possess that ammunition. If you are trading, then you both need to satisfy yourselves to this effect. This is usually not a problem when dealing with members of ACCA because their paperwork should be already sorted. However, do not take this for granted! The onus will always be on the individual to check the bonafides of anyone he deals with, whether buying, selling or trading. This might seem a pain to do every time, however it will be made easier – for ACCA members anyway – as ACCA will ultimately have copies of every members authority or licence.

I'm guessing that most, if not all members of ACCA at some point or another buy, sell or trade all types, calibres and gauges of ammunition, whether you actually collect those items or not. If your licence or authority doesn't allow you to do this, then to legally protect yourself, apply to have your collecting status changed. To make things as straightforward and as easy for yourself as possible, apply to collect/buy/sell ALL types of sporting and military small arms ammunition, if you don't already have this stipulated.

Everyone needs to provide a copy of their licence or authority to the National Membership Secretary for him to keep on file. The reason is due to the aforementioned requirement and this will obviously reduce the 'red tape' at ACCA meetings by negating the need to visually see everyone's authority every time when buying, selling or trading. In reality of course this doesn't happen at ACCA meetings. In an ideal world, every ACCA member would have a blanket authority to collect all types of ammunition and with the ACCA membership officer also keeping copies of every member's authority, there would be no need to check/view each others authorities at ACCA meetings.

Remember that common sense should always prevail in regards to storage. If you have shown you have taken reasonable steps to ensure you have the correct authority and keep your collection locked away in one fashion or another separate to any firearms you might own (whether in sturdy locked containers, a locked room without windows etc) you shouldn't strike any difficulties with your local police.

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